Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Autolib, Paris' younger brother of the Velib

A sustainable transport system is a system of choices – quite the opposite in many ways of the old all-car no-choice model that all too often spends most of its time in taking up scarce space but not moving. With this very much in view, the City of Paris has just stepped up to the plate and is now in the process of bringing into service what they propose will be a new link in the chain of sustainable transport options: a carsharing system not quite like any other. No less than three thousand cars to come on line in shared service in just nine months – and electric cars at that – working out of 1000 to 1200 stations spotted over not only the central city but a number of surrounding communities as well. The biggest and most daring carshare bet of all time.  In World Streets you will find a machine translation of an article prepared   by Sylvain Marty, director of the much-awaited Autolib’ program at the City of Paris. (The full original text is available in French here.) Autolib’ is a seductive idea, whose oldest historical antecedent was the excellent Witkar project of the mid seventies in Amsterdam which even today looks like a great try. Read on in World Streets.